Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Bright and breezy as we head onto the Ashby

We moved down to the wharf to pick up our Tesco delivery this morning. Despite the signs stating “Short Stay, Loading Only” we had to breast up against a small working boat to gain access to land. The other space was taken up by a private boat, locked up and left.

It was Tescogirl this morning, arriving at around 10:15. With everything on board we turned around at the junction – well, the wind turned us around – and headed back up the canal stopping on the water point to top up the tank.

Down to the wharf…

…and back again.

Topping up his tank was Ray on NB Stronghold. A friend of several other bloggers, but we’d never met before. We corrected that…

Topped up and on his way

We followed after about 30 minutes, it was only a splash and dash for us. While the tank was topping off I got the fridge cleaned out after defrosting it earlier, and then restocked.

Passing the overgrown entrance to the Newdigate Arm near Bridge 13DSCF0025

Sir Roger Newdigate’s colliery was linked to the Coventry Canal by this short arm. It was his father, Richard, who started the network of canals and tramways I spoke about yesterday. As early as 1700 he started widening and deepening existing streams on the Arbury Estate, then linked them by artificial canals or “boatways”. Their primary function was to move timber around the estate, from woodlands where it was cut to the Griff and Collycroft collieries where it was used for pit props.

By Bridge 14 the old Navigation Inn was converted into a private dwelling some years ago…DSCF0028

…but the pub sign is preserved, attached to the bridge.

Always something to wonder at at Charity Dock
Looks like we’re into Glam Rock at the moment…

The little gaggle of boats approaching Bridge 15 is awkwardly on a blind bend.DSCF0035
It’s here that a hire boat had a “coming together” with that derelict yesterday. In fact, that’s probably how it got sunk in the first place!

Marston Junction, turning onto the Ashby Canal.DSCF0037
There used to be a stop-lock just through the bridge, hence the junction bridge isn’t Bridge 1 on the Ashby, it’s a no-name still on the Coventry.

Gate recess for the stop-lock under the bridge.DSCF0039

In contrast to the utilitarian red-brick bridges of the Coventry Canal, the Ashby’s are of mellow local stone.DSCF0042  
There’s a length of piling we often use just shy of Bridge 3, but there were some boats already there. I tried to get on the end but the top was too near the bottom, a common problem on the Ashby Canal. We did get slotted in a little further on, though, after getting stuck in the mud on the offside. Not to worry, this’ll do us till Friday, when the next bout of poor weather should have passed.

Locks 0, miles 3

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